LISTEN – DON’T TAKE THE FIFTH –  

Oct. 26, 2021 – 

Plate Spinning As the head of a law firm, I had hundreds of plates spinning up in the air, maybe thousands. It was all way too much, especially on a daily ration of alcohol and prescription opioids. Incredibly, I was still able to show up for work, show up for clients, and become even more successful—until I wasn’t. 

I became burned out and exhausted, ravaged by over a decade of abuse. But I couldn’t find an elegant way out of my situation.

Lesson learned: Things did not get better until I let the plates crash to the floor.

Imperceptible Changes I couldn’t see the day-to-day changes. But if I had been able to pull back and view my life in five-year slices, it would have been painfully obvious. My weight had blown up to 285 pounds. I was vomiting up blood from anxiety, spending way more money than I was making, and taking out home equity loans to subsidize my lifestyle. Family vacations had gone from resorts in exotic locations to using frequent flyer miles to pay for cheaper hotels.

Lesson learned: I was suffering both the distortion of perception and the distortion of thinking. 

Leading a Double Life Of course, I became a master at hiding things from my family, friends, colleagues, and clients. Or so I thought. But eventually there were too many empty liquor bottles and pill vials, and too many missed appointments, too many excuses to hide. The day came when the jig was up.

Lesson learned: I was really only fooling myself.

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